Choke Bay by Howard Jackson
After 13 years in the Army Spencer Calbeck returns to his home town of Choke Bay, just outside Whitby. Ostensibly Spencer’s rerturn is to celebrate the engagement of his adoptive sister, Lauren to Coastguard Ron. But Spencer and Choke Bay have a bit of previous, because this is where Spencer’s father committed suicide after confessing to the murder of both Spencer and Lauren’s mothers.
As Spencer mulls over whether to re-enlist his curiosity takes him down Duddle Cove the scene of the tragedy all those years ago, but what he discovers waiting for him there are more than just memories.
Choke Bay is a mixture of gritty Northern Noir and supernatural chiller with a good dollop of unrequited love thrown in. It reminds me a little of some of Stephen King’s more recent books like Joyland in its evocation of a sleepy off-season seaside resort with something spooky hiding up its sleeve, although in Jackson’s case the town and the characters who inhabit it are very distinctly British.
A distinctly Northern admixture of detection, romance and supernatural chills I give Choke Bay a 555/666.
Choke Bay is published by Red Rattle Books and available from book shops and online now UK price £7.99